Delving Into The Science Of How Cannabis Can Treat Migraines

Photo Credit: Civilized

Photo Credit: Civilized

Migraines are severe headaches that are thought to be produced by inflammation in the dura mater, or the brain’s outer casing. This inflammation may result from activation of the trigeminovascular system. MIgraines are also associated with dilated blood vessels, caused by neuropeptides and gas nitric oxide. The endocannabinoid is a key player in regulating the trigeminovascular system, and too few endocannabinoids are thought to increase the chance of developing a migraine. THC, the psychoactive cannabinoid in cannabis, may be able to reducing trigeminovascular activity and reducing the presence of neuropeptides and nitric oxide.

In one rodent model, in which researchers induced migraines in rats, THC effectively reduced symptoms if administered before their onset. In the study, researchers observed that the rats drastically reduced their time spent running on a wheel when in pain from migraine. However, when given THC, they spent more time on the wheel after the migraine was stimulated. If THC was administered after the onset of symptoms, it was not as effective. In a human study from 2016 which was published in Pharmacotherpy, 121 migraine sufferers averaging 10.4 migraines a month began using medical cannabis therapy. Within one to three years, the average migraine frequency was reduced to 4.6 a month, and over 10% actually eliminated their migraines with the therapy. Because of its fast onset of relief, smoking marijuana was considered the best vehicle of administration. Forty-eight percent of participants experienced relief, and side effects were minimal.

This information has been provided by Civilized and approved by our Chief Medical Officer.